As massive open online courses (MOOCs) continue to soar in popularity, some administrators continue to assert that MOOCs lack the high quality and credit-worthiness of traditional college courses. But soon, all that may change.
The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) on Feb. 7 announced that it is recommending credit for the initial five Coursera MOOCs it has been evaluating since late last fall–meaning students enrolled in those courses could earn college credit toward a degree.
“A rigorous evaluation of these courses showed that they meet ACE’s standards for college credit recommendations,” said Molly Corbett Broad, ACE president. “This is an important first step in ACE’s work to examine the long-term potential of MOOCs and whether this innovative new approach can engage students across the country and worldwide while helping raise degree completion, increasing learning productivity and deepening college curricula.”
Of the five courses evaluated, four were approved for undergraduate credit: Pre-Calculus from the University of California, Irvine; Introduction to Genetics and Evolution from Duke University; Bioelectricity: A Quantitative Approach from Duke University; and Calculus: Single Variable from the University of Pennsylvania. The fifth course, Algebra from the University of California, Irvine, was approved for vocational credit.
(Next page: How students may earn credit)